Things were very hard and icy heading down Les Cases. We stopped at Brocheaux for lunch, a place where we had stopped
at a couple of years back when we came over on a day trip from Chamonix. An omlette and a pint of coke and I was raring to
We took the Brocheaux chair up and into Avoriaz centre. It was a shock looking across to the green hillsides of Morzine
and Mont Chery above Les Gets. The snow was pretty decent here in Avoriaz though. We spent a lot of the day cruising around
the Arare sector where the snow was good and it was not too busy. We headed back via Lindarets and the Express Mossettes chair
which takes you back to the Swiss/French border. The runs back down to les Crosets did not look too healthy so we took the
chair back down. It had been a pretty decent first day and my right knee had stood up to things quite well.
Once back to Champery we went to Bar Gueullhi to have a few beers and to use the free wireless internet connection. The
pints of Cardinal go down very nicely after a day on the slopes. We got washed and changed and went to Le Pub for dinner
|Late afternoon from Mossettes chair
Wednesday 17th January
I was still on a high after last nights great cup win for Queens as we set out for the gondola. After a pain au chocolat
for breakfast we were soon on our way. We headed over to Avoriaz via the Chavanette sector and spent the morning on the Arare
slopes. It was quite busy here. We then headed down to Lindarets and sat outside for an early lunch at the Montriod restaurant.
It was an omlette for me again today. We sat and enjoyed the sun and then made our way back over to Avoriaz and the top of
the Prodains gondola where we met up with Mr Ride&Slide himself (Jonny), RobA and jennx who are currently doing a European
road trip which has seen them heading to places as varied as Jasna in Slovakia and Chamonix. It was good to see them all again
and after a quick chat and introductions for those who didnt know each other we were on our way. We hit Arare then traversed
over to the Chavanette sector where conditions were reasonably good if not a bit busy in places. It was then down towards
Lindaret hitting the little kickers at the edge of the piste. We managed to get some footage for the Champery 07 video production
which has the Proclaimers song "500 miles" as the main theme and soundtrack. We left Jonny,Rob and Jenn and headed back over
Tonight we had a few beers in Le Gueullhi and then dinner up at Le Pub which was excellent yet again.
|Pete the "Proclaimer" !
Friday 19th January
Got up this morning and on looking out I could see it was still wet and wild. At 10am we took a walk to the supermarket
stopping to look at the weather forecast on the way. It was not very promising.
We all took a walk up the road to the Grand Paradis chairlift which was the only access point to the ski area
before the Croix de Culet gondola was built. We found there was still quite a bit of snow on the run down to the chair but
it would almost certainly be broken higher up the run. We had the guitars with us and we were able to take some more footage
for the Champery 07 video.
When we walked back to the apartment the sky began to brighten up. Starky had already packed his kit as he was heading
home tommorow but myself,Pete and Mike decided to buy a half day ticket for the local area and head up to see what things
were like. It cost us CHF 19 but as it was a reduced rate we did not get any more bonus points added to our lift pass cards.
Once we left the gondola the sun was shining and the area was almost deserted. The snow loss had been dramatic and a lot of
the area was just slush or large puddles. We all had a bit of fun in the puddles practicing our waterslide technique. None
of us ended up getting a real soaking so that was a bonus. We had a great few hours before heading back down to the apartment.
It was then the usual routine of taking the laptops round to the Gueullhi for a few beers. Tonight we took a walk through
the village and went to Chalet Farinet for dinner. It was nice and quiet and we all had a nice meal. Steak and veg for me
which came to CHF 33.
Saturday 20th January
On looking out this morning I was greeted with a clear sunny view and it also did not seem so windy. Graham left for
Geneva on the 09.33 train and after a bite to eat we got our lift tickets and got onto the gondola. The links to Avoriaz were
open via the Mossettes chair and up top visibility was excellent. We dropped down towards Lindarets where the snow loss from
the last few days was evident. Lots of narrow and thin patches as well as ice traps everwhere for the unaware. It was not
too busy early on but the crowds increased towards lunchtime. We were limited to the Arare and Chavanette areas to be honest.
Lunch was again at the Yeti. After lunch we done a few runs below the Prolays Express chair before I decided to call it a
day as I wanted to head back in time to get on line with Skysports for when the football scores started to come in. I decided
to ride back down to Les Crosets. At the top the snow was again good but further down it was just a sea of mud and slush with
lots of grass and rocks showing through. Luckily I did not do any real damage to my board.
I got most of my kit all packed up before we went over to Le Gueullhi . On Skysports I was disapointed to see that Derek
Lyles goal for Dundee had beaten us at Dens Park. A few beers soon numbed the effect though. Tonight we walked up to
Mitchells for dinner. Had a good feed and then it was back to the apartment .
|Happy smiling faces.
|Les Dents du Midi from Avoriaz
|The Combe du Machon Chair (Avoriaz)
Tuesday 16th January
After another decent nights sleep we were up and raring to go. We had breakfast on the move from the supermarket next
to the lift station and after topping up our PDS lift passes for another day we were soon heading up to Les Crosets. We lost
Graham for a short while as he had dropped down the same run as yesterday while the rest of us traversed along the ridge on
the blue run that drops down to the Cubore chair lift. We all had a nice quick run down the Abricotine piste to Brocheaux
where we all regrouped. Snow conditions were reasonable but it seemed busier than yesterday.
We made our way over to Avoriaz and spent the morning cruising around the Chavanette area.
Lunch today was at Le Yeti where we had a table outside in the sun. Had a cheese and ham baguette but the best laugh
was when Graham "stole " the bread basket which was destined for the table behind us. The waiter had sat it on the end of
our table until he had put some other things down but Graham turned round ,thought it was for us and whipped it ! Waiter turns
round and bread basket has gone..classic.
After lunch we headed down to Lindarets and then took the new 6 pack Chaux Fleurie chair up to the Col de Bassachaux
which is the boundary between the Avoriaz and Chatel sectors of the PDS. We only dropped down as far as Plaine Dranse as the
snow cover was very thin and patchy. Conditions were not good over here and fresh snow was needed urgently. Time was getting
on so we headed back up to Mossettes and from the top Pete and I rode all the way down to Les Crosets. The higher part of
the red run down was in great condition but lower down it was like a field of mud in places.
Tonight we ate in Bar Gueullhi and I was busy keeping a close eye on the Scottish cup replay between Queen of the South
and Dundee at Palmerston park. It went to penalties and I was so keen to here what was happening I had to phone Phil on the
terraces and it made my day when I heard the roar after Neil Scally scored the winning spot kick.
Thursday 18th Jan
Woke up this morning and on looking out the window I could tell right away that it was not going to be a good morning
for riding. It was raining and also quite windy. It was not difficult to make a decision not to go up and it was confirmed
when Pete and myself took a walk to the supermarket to get breakfast. The lift status board was showing the links over to
Avoriaz were all closed because of the winds. Had a walk over to the tourist office and picked up some leaflets and brochures
before heading back to the apartment for a leisurly breakfast.
We decided to take the train down to Monthey which is a fairly large town down in the valley. The train fare cost us
about CHF13 for the return journey.
We had a look round a couple of the shopping centres and then went for a nice lunch in one of the food halls. There was
a wide and varied choice of things to eat but in the end I decided on Bruschetta and Parma ham followed by a large and varied
Got back up to Champery to find the rain coming down harder than ever with the wind not easing either. Had a nice soak
in the bath before going over to the Gueullhi with our laptops to get on the net and for a few beers.
Dinner tonight was up at Mitchells where I had a nice fish dish and a few glasses of wine.
Went to bed hoping for an improvement in the weather for tommorow.
|Singing in the rain more like
|Pete puddle boarding
|Me on the Arare draglift
|Did I really ride down there ?
Sunday 21st January
I had an early rise and as I looked out I could see that over night there had been snow high up. Had some breakfast and
a shower then got the 09.33 train to Aigle. Had a few minutes to wait after dragging my kit over to the other platform. The
mainline train takes you past Montreaux and Lausanne, through Geneva and on to the airport. I then made my way upstairs and
got rid of my kit at the check in. My flight home left on time and it was clear skys most of the way until we got North of
Birmingham where it began to snow. We landed in a snowstorm but I did not have too long in getting my kit and making my way
back to the bus pick up point. It was raining heavily when I got back to the car. It was snowing heavily on the M60/M61 but
by Preston it had dried up and I was back home by 8pm.